Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles Chapter 1 - Section 7

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1.7.0 Disentitlement

Under the Employment Insurance legislation, the term "disentitlement" has a specific meaning and refers to the situations described therein Footnote 1 . A disentitlement must not be confused in any way with a disqualification, the effect of which is essentially different Footnote 2 .

It is incorrect to say that a claimant cannot at the same time be disentitled and disqualified from receiving benefit Footnote 3 .

1.7.1 Effect of disentitlement

Generally, a disentitlement is applicable on a day-to-day basis, and no benefits can be paid for any day to which a disentitlement is applied. As opposed to a disqualification, the weeks for which no benefits have been paid due to a disentitlement are not deducted from the number of weeks payable in a benefit period.

In practice, a disentitlement may be imposed for an indefinite period of time commencing on any working day of the week, and continues as long as the situation remains unchanged. Whenever a change occurs, a decision can then be made as to whether it warrants terminating the disentitlement or rescinding it completely.

When a disentitlement covers a full week, it can be regarded as delaying the payment of benefit within a benefit period without necessarily reducing the maximum number of weeks payable. However, once the benefit period terminates, no further entitlement to benefit from that period remains Footnote 4 . Moreover, this may mean that a lengthy period of disentitlement, in fact, effectively reduces the number of weeks of benefits paid to a claimant Footnote 5 .

1.7.2 Grounds for disentitlement

Some of the following situations automatically result in disentitlement whereas others are not specifically defined Footnote 6 :

  1. working a full week Footnote 7 ;
  2. not available for work Footnote 8 ;
  3. failure to prove incapacity for work in the case of sickness benefits Footnote 9 ;
  4. minor attachment claimant who ceased work due to incapacity Footnote 10 ;
  5. loss of employment or inability to resume a previous employment by reason of a labour dispute Footnote 11 ;
  6. confinement in a prison or similar institution Footnote 12 ;
  7. being out of Canada Footnote 13 ;
  8. non-entitlement of a teacher during the non-teaching period Footnote 14 ;
  9. delay in making a renewal or continuing claim Footnote 15 ;
  10. failure to provide information upon request Footnote 16 ;
  11. suspended from employment because of misconduct Footnote 17 ;
  12. voluntarily taking a leave from employment without just cause Footnote 18 ;
  13. voluntarily leaving employment without just cause, or losing employment by reason of their misconduct, within three weeks of termination from that employment Footnote 19 ;
  14. not entitled to compassionate care benefits Footnote 20 ;
  15. not entitled to benefits for parents of critically ill children Footnote 21 ;
  16. having received or being entitled to receive provincial benefits in respect of the birth or he adoption of a child under a provincial plan Footnote 22 .

Each of the above grounds will be discussed in detail in subsequent chapters.

Technically, the two-week waiting period is a period of disentitlement Footnote 23 , but in practice this is not so. Also, the fact of having worked a full week is regarded as a disentitlement although this is not specified in the legislation Footnote 24 . In actuality, however, these differing points do not affect a person's entitlement to benefit.

A disentitlement from benefits in general may be brought about by several concurrent reasons; then, there are really several disentitlements and no benefit can be paid as long as one of them continues.

[ October 2013 ]

[ September 2006 ]

1.7.3 Length of disentitlement

The legislation does not provide for a half-day disentitlement Footnote 25 . When it is determined that a claimant should be disentitled, the disentitlement must be applied for one day; otherwise, none must be applied.

Extenuating circumstances cannot reduce a period of disentitlement. The starting date of the disentitlement may be determined ahead of time, for example in cases of farming or intended absence abroad. However, the end of the disentitlement period cannot be pre-determined since another ground may arise in the meantime or the same ground may continue to prevail longer than initially expected.

A disentitlement may be imposed only for a number of days each week. This may be the case, for example, when the disentitlement is related to the availability for work of a claimant Footnote 26 or in the case of a labour dispute Footnote 27 .

Unless the disentitlement may be suspended, as in the case of labour dispute Footnote 28 , a disentitlement continues as long as the ground sustaining it continues to exist. However, a new ground generally calls for a new decision.

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